Friday, December 11, 2015

after all these years...

If there is just one name that sums up my early ST days, it's certainly Xenon. Such an iconic release. Coming over to the Atari ST from the Spectrum, Xenon was literally one of the first games that I carefully slid inside my new floppy drive and most definitely not knowing what to expect. Well, I was blown-away and drooled over the jaw-dropping graphics and those outstanding Dave Whittaker tunes. I had truly entered into another realm and it's a feeling that I'll never forget. I honestly don't think the "kids today" will ever enjoy a similar experience compared to the 80s.

The graphics are pretty simple when you think about it, especially in comparison to its sequel or most other games that later appeared. But they manage to somehow charm the socks off you and still look great even today. The audio is outstanding and it's impressive what the old YM chip can crank out, but then you're left wondering why so many other games couldn't have had this high level of creative effort because weapons and their destructions are mind-blasting - I still love the sound of the laser to this day!

Gameplay starts off pretty well balanced with lots of baddies to kill and then there is a rather weird ball-like Alien ship to kill at the end. The other levels are so difficult, at least for me, and I don't think I'll ever manage to complete the game without cheating. Don't forget to waggle that joystick and flip your 'tank' into an aircraft at any time you choose. What a lovely looking and sounding game that also happens to have that perfect arcade-feel gameplay and I don't think there is a good enough word to describe the brilliance of Xenon. Yes, this is a true Atari ST classic.


 - D-Bug has a fantastic version of Xenon available to download.
 - 8BitChip has Xenon converted to run off hard drives.
 - AtariMania has Xenon listed within their ST database website.